mozart
Posts: 2054
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:21 am

10 Days At Paris CDG

Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:00 am

This may sound like a rant, but it's actually a question: why is this like this? Why does no one change this?

Here's what I mean: The past two weeks I was flying from or to CDG every (working) day, and every time there was some avoidable hassle or unnecessary complication or slowdown of things - whilst at airports at the other end of my trips things always went smoothly.

So here's the diary:

Monday February 5: flying on LH to Munich from Terminal 1: accessing the taxi drop off lane at Terminal 1 is impossible because the barrier to the lane doesn't work. Then no luggage carts outside the terminal. Inside, flight monitors show outdated flight information (=showing "on time" whilst counter staff tell me that flight is 45 mins delayed).

Tuesday February 6: arriving on LH from Munich: plane has to stand on the tarmac because a lorry blocks the space where the airplane is supposed to park. 10 minute wait until they find a driver. Afterwards 30 minute wait time for luggage delivery.

Wednesday February 7: flying on LX to Zurich from Terminal 2B: 300 people waiting at passport control close to Eastern check-in counters, where one (!) agent works. Thus, I decide to use the passport control at the other end of the Terminal, where there are maybe 10 people waiting for the one agent checking passports and tickets/boarding passes. Although both passport controls lead to the same hall, the agent tells me to go back to the other counter (with the 300 people waiting) because it's closer to the check-in counters of LX. And this despite me holding my boarding pass already and wanting to go to the lounge which is closer to this passport control.

Thursday February 8: arriving on LX from Zurich: people de-boarding get stuck in the glass hallway leading from the gangway to the terminal. It takes 10 minutes before someone opens that door.

Friday February 9: flying on LH to Frankfurt: the moving walkways leading to the satellite are broken (this is 7am). Upon arriving at security, an agent sends us to the other security lane - which is closed. Going back to the first one which is open, he shouts at us to use the other lane, refusing to understand that it is closed. In the meantime, the first one has closed as well. For 10 minutes there is no open security lane.

Friday February 9: arriving on LH from Frankfurt: plane has to wait for someone to bring and connect the Ground Power Unit. Moving walkways still not repaired (this is 11pm), fortunately not in my direction.

Monday February 12: leaving on AF to ZRH from Terminal 2F: the little passage for the use of PEGASUS doesn't work. After that, the bus driver bringing us to the Avro parked away from the Terminal doesn't find the plane.

Monday February 12: arriving on LX from ZRH at Terminal 2B: again, stuck in the little hallway between the gangway and the Terminal. Also, the elevators in Terminal 2B going down to the Parking don't work

Tuesday February 13: leaving on LH to MUC: again, the moving walkways don't work. There are two security lines in the satellite, each one of them very long as many Lufthansa flights leave from that satellite between 830am and 930am. Despite the long queues, one lane is suddenly closed.

Wednesday February 14: arriving on AF from ZRH in Terminal 2F: Bus drivers drops us in the Schengen area of the Terminal. Wait 40 minutes until first bags arrive. Mine not among them. Upon me and numerous other people inquiring, we are told that the driver has lost some bags on the tarmac. They are finally delivered 20 minutes later.

Thursday February 15: leaving on LX to ZRH from Terminal 2B: two flights leaving at same time from adjacent gates, using same security checkpoint. Despite many people waiting, one lane is suddenly closed. Air France and Swissport staff enter into an argument with security people as both flights are delayed because of slow security.

Friday February 16 (this is my favourite one): arriving on LX from ZRH to Terminal 2B: I fly jump-seat in the cockpit because a friend of mine is the co-pilot. I listen to all the ATC communication, amongst other things to which stand the plane is directed. After deboarding, a looong wait for luggage (around 45 mins). When I approached the staff at the baggage desk, their answer is: "the pilot parked the plane at the wrong gate, and now it takes more time to get the bags delivered."


Add to these specific incidents the permanent hassle of CDG:

- the place is a pigsty: dirty premises, trash on the floor, broken and used furniture, disgusting bathrooms...
- flight monitors either don't work, show wrong information and not useful information ("delayed" - well yes, but by how much?)
- idiotic traffic regulation: for instance, when ordering a taxi pickup from Terminal 1, one has to go to another level and to the other side of the airport (from Porte 32 to Porte 12)
- a tendency to make things complicated for no reason (superfluous checks of boarding passes, because "those guys are from another company")


I am just wondering what else needs to happen before this level of incompetence and slopiness gets fixed. Other airports are unpleasant by their size and the long ways one has to walk, but all of these things have nothing to do with size.

So my question is: why is CDG a "slum with runways"? Why doesn't any one take action against this? Why are the managers of ADP still in their seats?
 
goldorak
Posts: 1373
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 5:29 am

RE: 10 Days At Paris CDG

Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:47 am

Dear Mozart
you described very well the big constant chaos of CDG Big grin  banghead   crazy . I encountered also several of the pbs you well described as well as others (I could add to your list). I should say that T2 is much more better than T1 that I try to avoid at all cost. Just to be honnest, some things are not under the responsability of ADP like the (very low) number of police officers assigned to passport controls. Let's hope it will be better after opening of S3 and reopening of T2E.
Anyway, you should mail your post to ADP (just to have the pleasure to read their answer in the style "oh it's not true, we are doing our best to make it work").
good luck !!
Goldorak
 
varig md-11
Posts: 1113
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2000 7:17 pm

RE: 10 Days At Paris CDG

Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:06 am

well I unfortunately agree on most of what you say!
except maybe:

Quoting Mozart (Thread starter):
the place is a pigsty: dirty premises, trash on the floor, broken and used furniture, disgusting bathrooms...

it depends if you're in CDG1 or 2 as mentioned before
I worked 5 years @CDG1 and it's true toilets are a shame and the moving walkways are always broken....and so are the baggage belts  down 
the cleaning ladies - most of them working there from day one - do nothing to help!!! they had great fun closing all the toilets at the same time during airport employees lunch break so that we had the greatest difficulties going to pee  bomb 

CDG2 is much better, this problem of toilets is barely to be noticed and the equipment kind of work...I guess you were not lucky at all!!

for the immigration officers, that's a never ending story: CDG is in the 9-3 district, which means it's either a punishment to work there or you're a lunatic or both = nobody from police wants to work there and the administration has great difficulties filling the positions

for ADP, don't even try: their view is that CDG is perfectly administered and they even wished the airport taxes increased 5% a year so that they manage it better  dopey 
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DLPMMM
Posts: 2144
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:34 am

RE: 10 Days At Paris CDG

Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:12 am

Hi Mozart,

You have aptly described why I (as a DL Skyteam Elite Plus) fly through AMS rather than CDG when ever possible.

CDG is a clusterf**k at the best of times, especially the security and immigration lines and the baggage handling.

I will be forced to go through CDG twice next month, but I managed to go through AMS for the other 4 connections.

And to keep this from turning into an anti-euro rant, I avoid JFK and EWR by using ATL for similar reasons.
 
varig md-11
Posts: 1113
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2000 7:17 pm

RE: 10 Days At Paris CDG

Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:19 am

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 3):
especially the security and immigration lines

it's true immigration at AMS is better, but security ?
the queues are about the same and security is much more....expressive at AMS: I like it when they systematically touch my legs and between legs in details everytime  rotfl 
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DLPMMM
Posts: 2144
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:34 am

RE: 10 Days At Paris CDG

Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:43 am

Quoting Varig md-11 (Reply 4):
it's true immigration at AMS is better, but security ?
the queues are about the same and security is much more....expressive at AMS: I like it when they systematically touch my legs and between legs in details everytime

But at least I only have to clear security at AMS once, where I seem to need to clear security multiple times at CDG.

While the AMS security does tend toward public displays of affection, they will include a "happy ending" on occasion!
 biggrin 
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8166
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: 10 Days At Paris CDG

Tue Feb 20, 2007 5:59 am

I'd have to agree, I hate travelling to/from CDG, the whole airport is dump. It gives the impression nobody is looking after the facilities, what an impression for France!
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
varig md-11
Posts: 1113
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2000 7:17 pm

RE: 10 Days At Paris CDG

Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:06 am

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 6):
It gives the impression nobody is looking after the facilities

they're too busy cashing the taxes in !!!!!
in fact it was OK for the French to buy KL but they should have sold ADP to Schiphol groep: that would have solved this disgrace
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stylo777
Posts: 2029
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: 10 Days At Paris CDG

Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:18 am

I can't say anything about CDG. I was there only one time in my life and also flying with LH to FRA, but only had the trouble to go outside the security area to the toilets. Later on I had to queue up for almost 20-25 minutes.

Mozart: may I ask you how I could apply for a job like yours?  Smile to fly almost everyday is a life-time dream of mine
 
parisien
Posts: 833
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2000 5:04 am

RE: 10 Days At Paris CDG

Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:22 am

Well, for passport control, CDG2 is better when departing compared to CDG1. For return or entering the country, CDG1 seems to be better. I had been stuck in CDG2 with hundreds of pax with only two windows open for passport control, no attempt whatsoever to organize the line either. A fight nearly broke off among pax who had to organize themselves in lines (not easy to remember who was before whom when there are hundreds of people).
Agreed with security lines especially in CDG1 satelites...they seem to think that shouting should solve any problem ! Then again, in SFO I once observed a security agent asking a non english speaking person to take his belt off..he did not understand...and instead of using a tarzan language which I think should be easy, the agent just upped the volume and shouted the same phrase over and over again !!!
The monitors of CDG1 are totally wacko...for my LH flights, the monitor was not updated for ages (showed on time or slightly delayed when in fact a lot delayed).
Toilets in CDG1 are a mess.
Too bad really, cause if they upgrade it, the design of CDG1 is interesting (if the automatic walkways dependably work that is).
 
den346
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 5:07 pm

RE: 10 Days At Paris CDG

Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:22 am

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 3):
CDG is a clusterf**k


This statement is sooo true and i definately have to agree with mozart. I was at 2A a couple times this summer and it was a mess. The security and passport control was a joke! I set the metal detector off with my belt i forgot to remove and they just visually looked me over and let me continue on. Also, the gate i was at was being used for 3 flights, two AF 777's and my 767 to toronto. There must of been 700 people cramed in that relatively small, hot space. Toilets were like a mile away from my gate too. Then, on the bus ride to the plane, we got lost!

I had a similar expirience at FCO this summer too but that also included LH loosing my bags for four days and then forgetting to deliver them to me when they arrived! I found them sitting out in the open near one of the baggage carosels when i went back to find them!
Would rather be flying!
 
DLPMMM
Posts: 2144
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:34 am

RE: 10 Days At Paris CDG

Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:23 am

Quoting Stylo777 (Reply 8):
Mozart: may I ask you how I could apply for a job like yours? to fly almost everyday is a life-time dream of mine

To those of us who do it regularly through CDG, it is more like Dante's "Inferno".
 
swissgabe
Posts: 5147
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 4:57 am

RE: 10 Days At Paris CDG

Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:51 am

That is why I avoid Paris CDG as much as I can. This airport isn't much of fun at all and I only use it when I have to.
Smooth as silk - Royal Orchid Service /// Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens - Springbok
 
mozart
Posts: 2054
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:21 am

RE: 10 Days At Paris CDG

Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:28 am

Quoting Parisien (Reply 9):
Well, for passport control, CDG2 is better when departing compared to CDG1. For return or entering the country, CDG1 seems to be better.

Well I almost never go through passport in T1 (only 3-4 times in the past 10 years using UA and SQ). So I am not sure what is better. However, I can positively say that passport control in T2 is badly organised: usually understaffed, the PEGASE system is often broken, and then there is a mess between the EU lane and the non-EU lane: people go wherever, or only the non-EU ones are staffed, or there is no EU one, etc.

It may be true that working in the 9-3 is a punishment, but is that an excuse for doing the job so shittily? C'mon, our Minister of the Interior and possible next President is supposed to be Mr. Law and Order, and all he has to show at the country's most important entry point is a bunch of unmotivated, careless numbbrains? How pathetic is that.

Instead, they believe they increase security by asking for my boarding pass 3 times in a row: the guy watching the lane leading to passport control, at passport control, and the people doing the security checks. What's the sense of that? Maybe unemployment in the 9-3 would be higher if all the jobs with no value added at CDG were axed, but it is shameful politics to create idiotic jobs just to avoid unemployment.

And lastly: I am not sure to what extent it is or isn't ADP's responsibility to ensure proper staffing of the passport control. Indeed, it's the PNFA (Police Nationale des Frontières et de l'Air) who do that on a daily basis, but I am certain ADP talks to the PNFA and can exercise some pressure to ensure proper staffing. The same is true with security: I am sure ADP has some leverage over the security companies, their staffing levels, and the way they work.

Quoting Swissgabe (Reply 12):
That is why I avoid Paris CDG as much as I can. This airport isn't much of fun at all and I only use it when I have to.

I can understand that people avoid CDG to change planes - and note that all the mess I have summarised here has nothing about the nightmares of changing planes. But I for myself cannot avoid CDG, simply because the world's most pathetic airport lies in the world's nicest city, Paris. And that's where I live and don't want to leave.

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